Sunday, January 30, 2011

Spring Wardrobe Plan So Far

My spring wardrobe is in process. I have plans for three out of five or more of my projects.
Simplicity 2337 in a navy cotton matte jersey
New Look 6587 in a berry cotton/linen blend
Colette Patterns Beignet skirt in some kind of yellow cotton, which I need to find

I still need to decide on the turquoise and purple. Any suggestions?? Pin It Now!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Spring Sewing Palette

Spring Sewing
Spring Sewing by Erika featuring vintage dresses

 Colette patterns created a challenge for spring, to sew pieces for a mini seasonal wardrobe and to create them in a spring palette. I accept the challenge! I'm very excited for spring ( we are having a ton of snow here in NJ) and my colors are a celebration of that. I have some of the colors in my fabric stash already, just waiting to become something fabulous for spring.

 A mini wardrobe should be pieces that can be mixed and matched. I think of it like packing for a weekend getaway, where everything should look good together. I plan to make at least one dress, another beignet Colette skirt, a blouse, and a pair of pants/shorts. Hopefully, I can get moticated and make even more. In ten weeks I should have a spring wardrobe full of exciting color! 
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Saturday, January 22, 2011

Vogue Knitting Live

Today I went to Vogue Knitting Live in NYC. It was a disaster. A horrible, scary nightmare. Not what I thought it would be at all. Vogue Knitting should be embarrassed. It was not fitting of the Vogue Knitting name. The event was PACKED full of people. Rude, pushy, nasty knitters. It was disorganized, and not worth my $20.

This is what basically sums up the event. Crowds of people surrounding ugly frumpy merchandise. Old lady sweaters with no shaping, eyelash yarns, novelty yarn, and general scariness at every turn.  There was two ladies walking around wearing knitted technicolor dream coats. The booths were geared towards scary cat knitting ladies. Everything that is bad about knitting crammed into two floors of marketplace.

Debbie Stoller, of Stitch and Bitch fame presented her book (which she didn't have with her) and held up samples of the projects from Stitch and Bitch Superstar Knitting, and passed them around. It also was not organized.

What the marketplace was lacking was a presence from some actual yarn companies. The only booth I saw was Rowan, but it was the smallest booth possible and they only had a few UGLY, unshapely sweaters on display. Nothing to buy, or present. What is shocking to me as a knitter is that in two floors of yarn there wasn't a skein of Manos Del Uruguay to be found. I wish there was a Blue Sky Alpaca booth with yarn, or a Debbie Bliss booth. Lion Brand had a booth, but to me that doesn't count.

My LYS, Down Cellar had a booth, with some really nice yarns and patterns. They were displaying some patterns from local designers, Through the Loops and my favorite Lindsay Ingram / VerbenaKnits. I can't wait to make her "I Carry your Heart" hat. The designer and I are pictured above with it.

The best part of the event was the Soak booth. I LOVE SOAK. I was standing there smelling the scents that were new and told the soak lady about by schmutz on my sweater I was wearing. She offered to take me in the bathroom and fix spot because she's a pro. She was so sweet and it turned out she was the president and founder Jacqueline Sava! That was some customer service. I bought the Soak scent Unleash, it smells appley. I already have the aquae and I use it to was all the knits, my hand wash and my unmentionables. So I loved Soak before, but now I love them even more!
I need to rest now after my overwhelming, traumatic day.  

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Friday, January 21, 2011

Vintage Patterns


I bought my first vintage patterns. This is very exciting. They both happen to be Simplicity patterns from the early 60s. The first pattern 3473, will be so cute in the spring, I love the little jacket with it too. The second pattern 5707 will make a stunning evening look, it has an optional lace overlay. Now I just need somewhere to go! I also bought a giant roll of tracing paper from Staples to trace the patterns. Has anyone else sewn with vintage patterns? Any tips for a rookie?

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Sunday, January 16, 2011

Quilted Tote

 It's my Grandma's 93rd birthday this week, so I made her something special. This is a small tote bag that attaches to her walker. I made her one a couple of years ago and she uses it all the time. Its a very simple design that just buttons in the front, and is open for easy access. I found this pretty hydrangea print at my local fabric store Fabricland, in colors that she would like, but added the flower buttons for a little extra flash. I also added a little pocket for keys. The outside is quilted with a cotton batting to make it stiffer. I never quilted anything before, I just marked lines one inch apart, diagonally.  It hangs nicely, and makes carrying things a little easier. 

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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Real Jeggings

I am not on-board with this whole legging/jegging trend. I would rather have pants that are looser than a pair of spanx. The only benefit to wearing these so called pants is the high boots you can wear over them. I have tried wearing boots over my jeans and shoving the jeans into the boot is not easy. After struggling to put them on there is always an akward lump by the ankle. AARG!
 I wanted to make my own pair of "jeggings", which would be an actual combination of legging and jean so I could easily wear high boots. I used a pair of old jeans and stirrup leggings to make these jeggings.  The stirrup will keep the legging from riding up. Here is how I made them.

Depending on what kind of boots you want to wear cut off the jeans just below where the boots would end. I am going to wear knee high boots so I cut off about ten inches.

Cut a pair of stirrup leggings at the same length. You could easily make a regular pair of leggings into stirrups with the extra leg material

Then I pinned the bottom of the legging and the top of the jean right sides together. My jegging was a little smaller than my jeans. I stretched it to fit while I serged.

Serge together, stretching the legging to the same circumference as the jean.

Just repeat for the other leg and strut around!

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Monday, January 3, 2011

Simplicity 2444

Simplicity 2444 is complete! Not quite done in time for Christmas eve, but done all the same.  I used a silk cotton blend in a wine color that I bought from Mood in NYC.  I made a muslin, and then a second muslin making the sleeves a little bigger. I like this pattern especially the collar, which is flattering for many. The neck is also open enough to make this long sleeve dress go from frump to chic. This pattern does require a belt, a belt is even included in the pattern illustration. I chose this one with a bow from fossil.

I did some new techniques for this dress. I did a hand picked zipper to show off the fabulous riri zipper, which is such a pleasure to zip. I also used a horsehair braid to hem the skirt. I love this stuff! It made it so much easier to make a even hem, sometimes i have trouble. I really like how twirly it is. Both techniques were suggestions on Gertie's Blog for Better Sewing. Spending a little more money on these details really made a difference in my dress. The horsehair was .75 cents at my local fabric store Fabricland, and the riri zipper is from Pacific Trimming. It was $12 and they cut the zipper to 22'' in minutes!

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